botrytised (IE. “nobly” rotten) grapes. The process of making Aszú wine is as follows.
- Aszú berries are individually picked, then collected in huge vats and trampled into the consistency of paste (known as aszú dough). Must or wine is poured on the aszú dough and left for 24–48 hours, stirred occasionally.
- The wine is racked off into wooden casks or vats where fermentation is completed and the aszú wine is to mature. The casks are stored in a cool environment, and are not tightly closed, so a slow fermentation process continues in the cask, usually for several years.
- The concentration of aszú was traditionally defined by the number of puttony of dough added to a Gönc cask (136 liter barrel) of must. Nowadays the puttony number is based on the content of sugar and sugar-free extract in the mature wine. Aszú ranges from 3 puttonyos to 6 puttonyos, with a further category called Aszú-Eszencia representing wines above 6 puttonyos. Unlike most other wines, alcohol content of aszú typically runs higher than 14%. Annual production of aszú is less than one percent of the region’s total output.